Hype is quickly building for the Nintendo Switch 2, the latest video game console from popular developer and publisher Nintendo. A big part of that hype surrounds the assumed hardware behind the new console. But how will that hardware compare to other consoles and popular PC gaming specs?
As continued reporting helps us to learn more about the Nintendo Switch 2 and all of its details, one thing has become clear: this is going to be a much more powerful console than the original Switch model. But how much more powerful will it be, exactly?
Nintendo Switch 2 hardware questions answered
Most of the answers we’ve gotten so far about Nintendo Switch 2 hardware are due to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard. That immense transaction led to the reveal of many documents not meant for public consumption, including some that spoke to the Switch 2’s hardware. Specifically, the new Nintendo console’s hardware was compared to that of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
That would place that Switch 2 at a power level roughly similar to that of the previous console generation. It also means that Nintendo’s new console would not be as powerful as either Sony’s PlayStation 5 or Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, again keeping Nintendo’s graphical capabilities behind those of its chief competitors.
This means that Switch 2 owners may continue to see disparities in which video games are ported to their console of choice. Not every game can easily be ported to a weaker device, and that would seem to be an issue for the new proposed console just as it is for the current Switch version, and as it was for the Wii, Wii U, and Gamecube before it.
This also means that the Switch 2 won’t compare favorably to modern gaming PC rigs, either. While there’s a tremendous amount of variance when comparing PC gaming hardware across different machines, the majority of modern PC gamers are likely to have something more powerful than the proposed internals of the Switch 2.
DLSS on the Switch 2 could be a saving grace
That doesn’t mean it’s all bad news for Nintendo fans, however. One particular bit of good news that has come about is the revelation that the Switch 2 will likely feature deep learning super sampling, more commonly referred to as DLSS.
DLSS allows graphics to be rendered at lower resolutions without sacrificing much in the way of visual fidelity. This is accomplished through the use of AI, which helps to scale the visuals back up despite the lowered resolution.
As for what this means in practice, it’s a sign that the Switch 2 might actually be able to keep up with competing modern gaming machines, at least in some ways. It’s unlikely to be able to produce equivalent graphics to a modern gaming PC or to the PlayStation 5, but it could at least produce something comparable.
Nintendo has a strong history of developing games that look great despite the lesser graphical horsepower of the host console. This has been seen recently with popular games such as The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Even going back to Super Mario Odyssey, a much earlier Switch title, it’s hard to take any issue with the visual presentation.
With that in mind, while some gamers may be disappointed by the Switch 2 potentially lagging behind modern PC gaming machines, the PlayStation 5, and the Xbox Series X, there is still hope that the new console’s hardware could prove to be a major upgrade when combined with Nintendo’s knack for sprucing up its games’ visuals.